Insights into the complex role of GRAS transcription factors in the arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis

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Hartmann, R.M. et al.: Insights into the complex role of GRAS transcription factors in the arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis. In: Scientific Reports 9 (2019), 3360. DOI:

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To improve access to limiting nutrients, the vast majority of land plants forms arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses with Glomeromycota fungi. We show here that AM-related GRAS transcription factors from different subgroups are upregulated during a time course of mycorrhization. Based on expression studies in mutants defective in arbuscule branching (ram1-1, with a deleted MtRam1 GRAS transcription factor gene) or in the formation of functional arbuscules (pt4-2, mutated in the phosphate transporter gene MtPt4), we demonstrate that the five AM-related GRAS transcription factor genes MtGras1, MtGras4, MtGras6, MtGras7, and MtRad1 can be differentiated by their dependency on MtRAM1 and MtPT4, indicating that the network of AM-related GRAS transcription factors consists of at least two regulatory modules. One module involves the MtRAM1- and MtPT4-independent transcription factor MtGRAS4 that activates MtGras7. Another module is controlled by the MtRAM1- and MtPT4-dependent transcription factor MtGRAS1. Genome-wide expression profiles of mycorrhized MtGras1 knockdown and ram1-1 roots differ substantially, indicating different targets. Although an MtGras1 knockdown reduces transcription of AM-related GRAS transcription factor genes including MtRam1 and MtGras7, MtGras1 overexpression alone is not sufficient to activate MtGras genes. MtGras1 knockdown roots display normal fungal colonization, with a trend towards the formation of smaller arbuscules.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2019
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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1 image of flag of Germany Germany 73 64.04%
2 image of flag of United States United States 31 27.19%
3 image of flag of China China 3 2.63%
4 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 2 1.75%
5 image of flag of India India 2 1.75%
6 image of flag of France France 1 0.88%
7 image of flag of Finland Finland 1 0.88%
8 image of flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic 1 0.88%

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